Jump Start: Volleyball Helping BCHS Star WR

At first glance it isn’t difficult to see why athletic, 6-foot-4 senior wide receiver Tristen D’Angelo is a two-sport standout at Boulder Creek High School in Anthem. However, you may have a difficult time guessing his second sport.

“I started playing volleyball my sophomore year,” D’Angelo said to Sports360AZ.com. “I finally gave it a try and I fell in love with it. I’m glad I did it.”

His transition from the football field to the court wasn’t easy, admitting early in his volleyball career “I wasn’t too good” but with practice came steady improvement as the middle blocker leaned on the tutelage of experienced coaches Troy Dueling and Taylor Stallman to help develop his game at the net.

Two volleyball state championships later D’Angelo is hoping that Boulder Creek winning attitude carries over from the gym to the gridiron entering his final prep season in BC.

“It’s incredible to be around a state championship atmosphere like that, especially two years in a row,” D’Angelo explained. “It’s shown me what it takes to get there, the competitiveness and the attitude you need to bring to the game.”

Tristen set 1D’Angelo’s improvement in volleyball has helped his skill set in football, particularly his leaping ability, as well as reaction time when running routes and “playing in space.” Although he admits the mental approach to both sports is much different, each has helped him improve in the other.

The Jags’ top returning receiver has evolved, in more ways than one, according to his head coach.

“Tristen’s a great player, he’s always been a great player,” Anthony Casarella said to Sports360AZ.com. “He’s been on varsity since he was a sophomore but the thing I like most about Tristen is he’s become more of a leader on the field with his teammates.”

He’s also set the right example in the classroom with a 3.8 grade-point-average (1170 SAT) and a full academic scholarship to his “dream school,” the University of San Diego where he is likely headed to continue his educational and football career starting in 2018.

— Tristen (@DangeloTristen) June 5, 2017

The well-liked and respected teammate has also received interest from Cal, Vanderbilt and Montana among others.

For now the bigger, faster and much stronger D’Angelo is solely focused on the present, hoping to hoist a different kind of state championship trophy this fall.